'Sad to see a legend go' – Teary fans react as Roger Federer retires from tennis aged 41 after incredible career | The Sun

EMOTIONAL tennis fans were united in their sadness as Roger Federer announced his retirement.

The Swiss superstar, who turned 41 in August, revealed he would be hanging up his racket this month after 24 years on tour.


Federer confirmed the Laver Cup at London's O2 Arena would be his final event after struggles recovering from knee surgeries.

And there was an immediate outpouring of heartache on social media as fellow players, celebrities and thousands of supporters wished the 20-time Grand Slam winner all the best.

New world No1 Carlos Alcaraz – who never got to play his childhood hero – tweeted: "Roger…." followed by a broken-heart emoji.

John Isner wrote: "Absolute living legend. Thanks for all the countless memories."

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Davis Cup-winning doubles partner Stan Wawrinka added two love hearts while Denis Shapovalov echoed Isner's comment.

The official Wimbledon Twitter account posted: "Roger, where do we begin? It's been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word.

"We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many."

Lyon defender Jerome Boateng said: "Thanks for everything."

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South African cricketer AB de Villiers commented: "Changed the game! Thank you for all the inspiration."

A hurting Hugh Jackman typed: "You have left your indelible, unmatched stamp on the sport of tennis. Thank you! Love HJ."

And Piers Morgan wrote: "Roger Federer is retiring from tennis. For me, he’s the greatest, and classiest, to ever play the game. A genius. Thanks for all the entertainment @rogerfederer."

Elsewhere, fans heaped praise on the player many consider to be the greatest of all time for the way he played the game and conducted himself with such grace and class.

One said: "Love or hate him, tennis would be nowhere near the same without him. A very sad day for the sport and I wish him the best for the rest of his days. What a legend."

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Another replied: "I’m so sad right now. @rogerfederer you absolute legend I fell in love with the sport cause of you. You're the best example of what a champion is. You’re the most humble human in victory and in defeat."

And a final user shared: "We all knew it was coming, but I didn't want to believe it: Roger Federer retiring from tennis. Sad to see a legend go, but what a frickin career. Congrats GOAT."

Federer won the hearts of the British public when he won his first Wimbledon title in 2003 – and boasted an army of high-profile fans including Kate Middleton, John Bercow, Kate Winslet, Samuel L Jackson and Hugh Grant.

He added a further seven crowns at the All England Club and completed the career Grand Slam with the 2009 French Open.

'TENNIS, I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU'

The Basel-born ace had hoped to play one final time at Wimbledon but his body simply struggled to recover.

Federer announced the news in a lengthy letter to his 40million social media followers, just weeks after fellow legend Serena Williams told the public she was "evolving away from tennis".

He confirmed he would step away from the ATP Tour and grand slams but would continue playing some tennis.

Federer wrote: "I've worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body's capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been dear. I am 41 years old.

"I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.

"I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive.

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"I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true.

"Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you."





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